The most-decadent holiday of the year may have passed us by, but that doesn’t mean we’re nixing comfort foods on these cold, wintry days. Some needs just can’t be put on hold for diets or cleanses, especially when you’re swaddled in sweaters and huddled for warmth. That’s why, this week, FN Dish is adding seasonal winter squash — a most-satisfying, sweet and adaptable piece of produce — to the grocery cart.
At the market, keep your eyes peeled for winter squash varieties like butternut, delicate, acorn, kabocha and spaghetti squashes. Follow FN Dish’s lead and cook up winter squash creations that are inventive, filling and seasonal. Whether it’s your first squash of the season or you already have leftovers in the fridge, these recipes are family favorites in the making.
Before you do anything else, learn how to break kabocha and butternut squashes down with Food Network Magazine. That way, there’s nothing preventing you from making Squash Gratin, a two-squash side that’s nice and velvety under its crispy, cheesy crust.
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Fast-forward to tomorrow, when you’ll be ladling heaps of mashed potatoes, green bean casserole and cranberry sauce on your plate. Try as we might, your fridge is likely to be stacked to the brim with Thanksgiving leftovers, no matter how many rounds you and your guests enjoy. Rather than simply serving Thanksgiving on repeat — again and again and again — reinvent your favorite sides with recipes that won’t leave a drop to waste.
Start with the classic Open-Faced Thanksgiving Sandwich, the timeless stacking of turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and stuffing. Chances are, you’ll whip one of these up before bedtime tomorrow.
Even the biggest meal of the year will leave you hungry the next morning. Crack a few eggs and load up Food Network Magazine’s Extra-Veggie Frittata with your leftover sides, like stuffing, seasonal broccoli, cauliflower and more.
The decadence of the holidays is only just beginning. Keep things light with a Turkey Waldorf Salad laden with shredded leftover turkey, crisp in-season apples and red grapes.
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A lot of our Thanksgiving traditions come canned — the pumpkin puree for your pie, the start of your favorite cranberry sauce and those curly fried onions for your green bean casserole. These time-honored ingredients get this most-anticipated meal on the table year after year. As the holiday draws near, however, give some serious thanks by stocking your table with show-stopping produce-loving sides.
As you start assembling those grocery lists of yours, mix and match these 10 killer dishes — each with a veggie focus — for a Thanksgiving spread your family will reproduce for years to come.
1. Mushrooms: We may eat our mushrooms year-round, but Ina’s Mushroom-Leek Bread Pudding celebrates this ingredient in a preparation reminiscent of classic Thanksgiving stuffing.
2. Squash: Food Network Magazine’s Lemon-Maple Squash are curvy and sophisticated, working as an elegant addition to the other casserole-leaning sides.
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You likely have your Thanksgiving menu set. For all we know, it was set in stone years ago, probably when your all-knowing elders were in charge. The turkey part of Turkey Day is a no-brainer, but the sides are like a puzzle. You’ll serve the usual contenders — fluffy mashed potatoes with a puddle of gravy, Grandma’s sweet potato casserole (marshmallows and all) — but you’ll need something else to balance out all that richness.
This year, as your family gathers around the dinner table for yet another Thanksgiving meal, look to another veggie that’s at the top of every restaurant menu and grocery list: Brussels sprouts. We like ours cooked right — caramelized and tender at every layer. As you draft up your preliminary rounds of potential recipes, keep in-season Brussels sprouts at the top of your list.
Turkey Day is known for chaos. Ease things up and simply drizzle halved sprouts with olive oil for basic Roasted Brussels Sprouts by Food Network Magazine. And with just one small addition, Brussels Sprouts with Bacon take on a smoky saltiness, perfect for the big Thanksgiving meal or any night of the week.
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It’s November, and for all we know, you’re already knee-deep in beef stew, spaghetti and meatballs, and chicken noodle soup. We get it. Fall means comfort: stews so tender the meat is falling off the bone and casseroles so cozy you get knocked into a nap at the last bite.
Here’s the thing: Comfort food doesn’t need to be synonymous with meat. Believe it or not, even the most unassuming veggies have the power to cure us of all our woes. Leave it to cauliflower — and these recipes — to bring you all kinds of comfort this season.
Stir a pot of risotto to sultry completion, this time with roasted cauliflower florets and sliced almonds adding that extra crunch. Food Network Magazine’s Roasted Cauliflower Risotto (pictured above) can work as a rich main dish, or as a smaller side.
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For some, the delicate leafy green means quiche, nourishing green smoothies and heaping salads. And for others — we’re lookin’ at you kids — it can be a hard sell, met with wrinkled noses and “No dessert until you eat your spinach!” tantrums. Today, FN Dish is coming up with spinach sides that, believe it or not, can make everyone happy. Cook it into your favorite recipes, saute it on its own, eat it nice and raw — you get the picture. When it wilts into its supple alter ego, all kinds of sides can come to be.
This season, grab baby or big-leaf spinach by the handful, for more reason than the ample health benefits. Whether you disguise spinach or make it the star of your dish, this recipe roundup will give you — and, hey, maybe even the kids — reason to love it.
For those who love the classic composition of Creamed Spinach, Sunny Anderson’s is decadent, creamy and works as a weeknight side or Thanksgiving star. Sandra Lee’s Parmesan Creamed Spinach adds a dose of sharp cheese, as well as a touch of pumpkin pie spice.
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If there’s any veggie taken for granted, it is undoubtedly the carrot. It’s not that we don’t eat ‘em. Please, we down carrots by the bagful — so often, in fact, that we might forget the veggie’s possibilities with all of our mindless munching. Here we go beyond the slick, shrunken realm of the baby carrot by zeroing in on bold preparations. These recipes take carrots by their roots, evolving snack time’s favorite veggie by rethinking the many, many forms it can take.
1. Shaved: For a fresh salad that leaves the leaves of lettuce behind, all you need is a vegetable peeler. Food Network Magazine’s Carrot-Cashew Salad shaves and transforms carrots into ribbons of ethereal crunchiness.
2. Pureed: Switch up your little tubs of packaged apple sauce for Tyler Florence’s Carrot, Mango and Apple Puree for Food Network Magazine. Just roast, puree and snack.
3. Pickled: Pickled Dill Carrots by Food Network Magazine inject the root veggies with zesty acidity, perfect for munching right out of the jar.
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Put down those potatoes, people. Here at FN Dish, we’re spending a little quality time with one of the most under-appreciated veggie around: the turnip. Odds are it’s not the star of your fall spread. Heck, maybe you’ve never even cooked this root vegetable before. Well, now that turnips are in season, they’re smaller, sweeter and bound to woo you.
More closely related to peppery arugula and radishes than beets or even potatoes, turnips come with loads of benefits. Not only do turnips add a quick zip to sides, mains and more, they’re also inexpensive, meaning you can load up on them at the store. Turnips are loaded with nutrients, especially if you hang on to the greens. Saute, roast, mash or blanch your turnips. Hey, you can even take ‘em raw in a salad.
Turnips are capable of making a statement on the table. Food Network Magazine’s Turnip Gratin with Almonds (pictured above) comes out of the oven bubbling and sprinkled with toasted breadcrumbs, while Herbed Leg of Lamb with Roasted Turnips gives turnips a celebratory edge.
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Pull on your first sweater of the season and the craving for all things pumpkin spice immediately sets in. This traditional flavor hinges on seasonality, influencing our lattes, air fresheners and baked goods as soon as the air turns crisp. Though pumpkins from the patch may lead to stoop decoration, they never seem to reach the table. We use canned store-bought pumpkin year after year and pie after pie.
The canned option is convenient, often coming with spice and without the daunting task of dismembering a whole pumpkin. Though getting down to the flesh of a pumpkin — especially that of the smaller, sweeter sugar pumpkin — is a rewarding undertaking. This fall, do more with pumpkin than carving grinning jack-o’-lanterns. Slice it into chunks, use it for its seeds or transform it into a homemade Pumpkin Puree, like Alton’s. These recipes using fresh pumpkin are a great place to start.
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When apple crisp, apple crumble, apple pie and all things apple start flooding your recipe wish list, you don’t need to look at the calendar to know that fall is right where we want it. Apples are the stars of this coveted season — and rightfully so. We lug them by the bagful from the produce section and, sometimes, we even trek to the nearest farm to do the picking ourselves.
As the old adage goes — say it with me now — “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Instead of relegating apples to dessert, start strong by incorporating crisp, juicy apples into your breakfast regiment — or add them to the brunch table if you’re sleeping in. These apple recipes make any morning meal a celebration.
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